FAQ: Emotional Trauma Due to an Auto Accident
As an auto accident lawyer Denver, CO residents choose for legal assistance can tell you, bruises, broken bones, lacerations and even concussions are common results from car accidents. However, an auto accident lawyer in Denver, CO understands that there is another type of injury that does not always get its due: the emotional trauma a victim sustains from a car collision. Physical injuries can be much easier to identify and treat than severe emotions, mental difficulties, and debilitating fear. What follows are answers to some of the most common questions victims ask an auto accident lawyer Denver, CO victims trust.
What are the Symptoms of Emotional Trauma?
It is normal for people to feel stress following a car accident. However, for some victims the level of stress can intensify and lead to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, or driving phobias. Common symptoms of emotional trauma after a crash include the following:
- Shock or denial
- Difficulty concentrating
- Anger/irritability/mood swings
- Anxiety and fear
- Withdrawing from loved ones
- Feeling hopeless
- Disconnection & feeling numb
- Sleeping too much
- On edge, being started easily
- Racing heartbeat
- Muscle aches and tension
How Long Does Emotional Trauma Last?
The duration is different for every person. Trauma symptoms usually last anywhere from a few days to months, and gradually fade as time goes on. Once you start to get better, you may feel troubled once in a while due to being exposed to reminders associated with the traumatic accident. It may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist in addition to a Denver auto accident lawyer. A therapist’s role is to be an unbiased, non-judgemental person who can help you get through difficult emotions. It can be beneficial for those who are suffering from intense fears, and symptoms have not gotten better over time.
What Factors Contribute to Emotional Trauma After an Accident?
Every person is unique and are affected differently by a car accident. An auto accident lawyer Denver, CO locals recommend might tell you that the level of trauma that a person may experience depends on many factors:
- Pre-existing medical conditions
- Severity of physical injuries due to the accident
- Lack of social support or coping strategies
- Death or serious injury to passengers in the car
- Feeling guilty or shame associated with the crash
- Fear of getting into a vehicle
- Complete avoidance of driving
Are There Ways to Manage Emotional Trauma Every Day?
In addition to therapy, practicing taking care of yourself can help you move forward from the accident. By tending to your body, mind, and soul through the following techniques, you are strengthening your foundation to tackle the bigger challenges associated with emotional trauma.
- Spend time outdoors
- Take time for hobbies
- Practice an art form (drawing, painting, photography)
- Eat healthy
- Avoid excess use of alcohol or drugs
- Exercise daily
- Connect with friends and family
- Practice meditation and mindfulness
You may feel tempted to isolate yourself so you do not have to talk about the traumatic event with friends or family. But, by connecting with others you may feel more engaged, supported, and accepted by your loved ones. Additionally, there may be a support group in your area for survivors of trauma. Sometimes, hearing another person’s story can inspire you to invest energy into your own recovery, in addition to learning new coping strategies.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
There are many injuries that a person can sustain when they are in an auto accident, such as fractured bones, road rash, bruises, and more. These physical injuries are visible ones, but there are other types of injuries that are not so visible – emotional injuries. One type of emotional injury that the Denver, CO auto accident lawyer from The Law Office of Richard J. Banta P.C. often see is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Not only are emotional injuries like PTSD difficult to diagnose, but they are also injuries that many insurance companies will attempt to deny a claim for. The insurance company will either claim that the victim was already suffering from the condition or they may even accuse the victim of faking their condition. If they do recognize that the accident caused the victim to develop PTSD, then they may try to put the blame for the accident onto the victim in order to have a reason for denying the claim.
This is just one of the many reasons why victims of auto accidents should contact a skilled auto accident lawyer serving Denver, CO for assistance and making sure their rights are protected.
What Are the Symptoms of PTSD?
Any individual who experiences a traumatic event can develop PTSD. An auto crash certainly qualifies as a traumatic event, especially when the victim has suffered serious or severe injuries. Some of the more common PTSD symptoms a victim may experience on a regular basis include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Having recurring flashbacks about the crash. This can happen even more frequently when the victim is traveling in a vehicle.
- Having recurring nightmares about the crash
- Loss of interest in motorcycling
- No interest in the activities that the victim enjoyed prior to the crash
- Obsessing about the crash
- Refusing to be near the location where the crash occurred
- Suffering from emotional outbursts. These can sometimes turn violent.
- Suffering from feelings of gloom and doom
- Suffering from high stress and/or anxiety
- Suffering from insomnia and sleeplessness
- Unable to remember details of the crash
- Unable to stay focused on tasks
- Withdrawing from family and friends
As mentioned above, it is very likely the insurance company will try to deny the victim’s claim of PTSD. They may try to claim the victim had struggled with depression or anxiety before the crash. They may even use any prior therapy or psychological treatments the victim may have had in the past.
In order to prove that the victim’s PTSD is a result of the auto accident experience they had, the victim should consult with a mental health professional to verify the diagnosis of PTSD and to begin the recommended treatment plan.
It will also likely be necessary for the victim’s auto accident lawyer for Denver, CO to have a mental health professional testify during the lawsuit trial. This expert will be able to confirm the victim’s condition and its connection to the auto crash, as well as discuss the treatment the victim should have and what the cost of that treatment will be.
The mental health professional can also testify to the ways the accident triggered the PTSD condition, even if the victim did suffer from anxiety or depression prior to the crash.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an auto crash and are dealing with PTSD, as well as other injuries, contact an auto accident lawyer Denver, CO trusts from The Law Office of Richard J. Banta P.C. today to find out how we can help.
An Auto Accident Lawyer Denver, CO Community Members Turn To
To learn how we may be able to help you recover your damages after a collision, call The Law Office of Richard J. Banta P.C. to speak with a respected auto accident lawyer Denver, CO offers.